What took so long?

We say this tongue-in-cheek, but it has always been confusing the way sports organizations who use the “U17” or “U10” etc. label their age groups. Since the “U” stands for “Under”, the phrase reads like, “Under 10” which would lead one to believe that 10 year-olds don’t qualify because a child must be under 10 to play. But no. We all learned that “Under 10” was really for ten year-olds and we all just accepted the terminology and moved on. Volleyball uses the same classification and even some travel baseball and other sports. But fortunately, US Youth Soccer came to the realization that there is no good reason to continue confusing folks. They are changing the age classifications to read “10-U”, as in “Ten and Under”. Let’s hope the other organizations out there still putting the “U” first come to their senses as well. (Courtesy Soccerwire).

Referee Guidelines

We found this on one of our client’s websites and thought it was pretty good:

While all referees are independent contractors, referees who wish to work in our Soccer Club need to be aware of what the Club expects:

The main theme is Professionalism.

Professionalism consists of:
1. Preparation.  Know the Laws.  Go over them regularly.  Don’t assume just because you passed the test and/or play regularly that you know everything cold.  Know and practice procedures and signals.
2. Personal Improvement.  You should try to learn one or two things from each game and always try to improve your performance.  Help your fellow referees to improve through constructive feedback.  Discuss situations to get alternative viewpoints.
3. Arrive at the field far enough ahead of time (a minimum of twenty minutes) to do a professional pre-game routine, including discussion with your crew, field and safety check, player rosters and equipment check, and introduction to coaches.  If you are the Center – you are in charge, even if you are junior to one of the other crew members – take charge, but don’t be afraid to ask for help.
4. Appearance.  Be in uniform when you arrive at the field. If you have to change, clothes or even shoes – do it in the parking lot. Leave the flip-flops in the car.
5. Demeanor.  Be confident, firm, but polite and respectful.  Treat players, coaches, and spectators the way you would like to be treated – even if they are not according you the same respect.  Remember, our job is to make the game work smoothly – to allow the players to be safe and have fun.
6. Reporting.  Center referees (except for Rec-Plus) must send their game reports in on time. Club Referee Assignor should receive a copy of every report. 
7. Problems.  If you have game problems, say with fields, players, coaches, spectators, etc. that are not important enough to note in the game report, but nevertheless were bothersome, please let the Assignor know.  We cannot deal with issues that we don’t know about.  The Club and the District have a low threshold for tolerating outside factors that impinge on games.

Practice drills on the fly

The feedback we get from youth soccer, baseball, basketball, football and softball leagues everywhere has been overwhelming for many years. What we hear is that leagues love providing their coaches, who are volunteer moms and dads, with a tool they can use, “on the fly” when they haven’t had time to put together a practice plan. We know there are online resources out there available for free. But we also know that the average busy, volunteer coach who works a full day, comes home, has dinner and puts the kids to bed is not then going to, at 10:00 o’clock at night, log into a website, with streaming video, print sheets of paper and download practice plans. They need something like CoachDeck which can be used quickly and easily on the field, while the kids are getting out of their cars. This is why thousands of leagues, clubs and organizations choose CoachDeck as part of their coach training efforts.

High school soccer vs. Academy

Here is an interesting article from yesterday’s Gonzaga Bulletin about the way many players must choose between playing Academy soccer and playing for their high schools.